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Ospreys’ Run Continues

jmcconnell 4 Nov 2004

Neath-Swansea kept their chances of qualifying for next year’s Heineken Cup alive with a hard-earned 23-11 victory over the Celtic Warriors.

The win came through first-half tries for Stefan Terblanche and James Bater, and 13 points from the boot of outside-half Shaun Connor.

After the Ospreys changed their kicker following Gavin Henson’s two early misses at goal, Connor and opposite number Neil Jenkins swapped two penalties each in the first quarter.

The Ospreys’ territorial advantage was rewarded when Terblanche went over for his first try for the Ospreys since he made his debut in December. The Springbok gathered a loose kick on halfway and then won the race to his chip ahead beating Sililo Martens and Richard Mustoe to the ball.

The Warriors had won all five of their previous matches but looked distinctly off the pace while the Ospreys looked buoyed by their famous Celtic League win in Munster last Friday.

The Ospreys’ first-half dominance was complete when, on the stroke of the interval, Bater scored an interception try thanks to a loose Richard Mustoe pass in his own 22. Connor converted to give his side a 23-6 half-time lead – all 23 points unanswered.

But the Warriors regrouped early in the second half and scored a try after 49 minutes after an attack that was started and finished by skipper Jon Bryant.

The centre broke through the midfield and, when the ball was recycled, he was on hand to crash over.

The Ospreys were determined that their line was not breached again but it did not make for particularly pretty rugby in the closing stages.

But the home side held out and in the process prevented the Warriors from claiming a losing bonus point.

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